How to Cook a Perfect Beef Chuck Cross Rib Roast

Beef chuck cross rib roasts, also known as shoulder roasts, are a delicious and economical cut of beef ideal for feeding a crowd. With its marbled fat and connective tissue, chuck roast meat is moist and flavorful, especially when braised low and slow. Follow my tips below for guaranteed tender, juicy results when cooking this underrated roast.

Selecting and Preparing the Roast

Chuck cross rib roasts are available bone-in or boneless. For the most flavor and moisture, I prefer cooking it bone-in and leaving the fat cap intact. Choose a roast that is well marbled with white fat threaded throughout the meat. Estimate 1 pound per person when selecting a roast.

Before cooking, take the roast out of the fridge and allow it to come up to room temperature, about 1 hour. Pat it dry with paper towels. Season generously all over with salt and pepper. I also like to rub it with crushed garlic, thyme, rosemary, and olive oil for extra flavor.

If your roast has a fat cap, score it lightly in a diamond pattern which allows the seasoning to penetrate and the fat to render while cooking. Tying the roast with kitchen string helps maintain its shape during cooking.

Slow Cooking Methods

The key to a tender chuck roast is slow cooking using moist heat. My favorite methods are braising in the oven or slow cooking in a crockpot. Both produce fall-apart tender meat saturated in its own juices.

Oven Braising Preheat the oven to 300°F Place the seasoned roast in a Dutch oven or heavy ovenproof pot with a tight fitting lid Add 1 cup beef broth, 1 cup red wine, and chopped vegetables like onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Bring to a simmer on the stovetop, then cover and transfer to the oven. Braise for 3-4 hours until very tender.

Slow Cooker: Place the seasoned roast in a slow cooker and add 1 cup broth, 1 cup wine or beer, and vegetables. Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours. The meat should shred easily when done.

Monitoring Doneness

Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness. Insert it into the thickest part of the roast away from any bones. Chuck roasts are best cooked to 195-205°F when the collagen has melted into the meat, making it succulent and fork tender

If the roast is done but the drippings aren’t saucy enough, remove the meat to a platter and reduce the liquid on the stovetop Whisk in flour to thicken if desired

Resting and Carving

Once cooked, always allow the roast to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to reabsorb back into the meat. To carve, slice across the grain into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Be sure to pour the delicious pan juices over the top.

Serving Suggestions

Chuck cross rib roast is delicious served as part of a hearty dinner or even cold sliced for sandwiches. Here are some tasty serving ideas:

  • Roast vegetables: Cook potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs alongside the roast.

  • Yorkshire puddings or popovers: The drippings make perfect puddings!

  • Au jus sandwiches: Pile tender slices on crusty rolls with the meat juices for dipping.

  • Potato gratin: Layer sliced potatoes with cream and cheese for a rich side.

  • Green beans: Fresh green beans add color and go well with the beef.

  • Salad: Make a fresh green salad with a zesty vinaigrette dressing.


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